The last thing anyone should be doing is encouraging him, but Elon Musk has just won in the case of a class-action suit over his 2018 tweets about trying to take Tesla private, which turned out to be a false alarm that briefly impacted the stock price.
The jury returned with their verdict after less than two hours of deliberation Friday, as the Associated Press reports. They found that Musk did not intend to deceive investors with his tweets saying he had secured funding to take Tesla private, when in fact said funding was not fully secured.
During closing arguments this morning, pre the AP, "Musk sat stoically in court, while he was both vilified as a rich narcissist whose reckless behavior risks 'anarchy' and hailed as a visionary looking out for the 'little guy'."
He could have ended up owing investors billions of dollars in damages from the class-action suit, which sought restitution for the impact on the company's value in the weeks following those August 2018 tweets. Musk has already, previously, had to cough up $40 million in fines to the SEC over his tweets.
The lawyer for the shareholders, Nicholas Porritt, has been the object of visible scorn from Musk over the three-week trial, but Musk apparently tried not to show any reaction during the closing arguments in which Porritt said Musk has a "loose relationship with the truth."
"Our society is based on rules," Porritt said, per the AP. "We need rules to save us from anarchy. Rules should apply to Elon Musk like everyone else."
Musk earlier had testified that he legitimately was in talks with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund to buy out Tesla's shareholders, and that his "intent was to do the right thing for all shareholders" by tweeting the news.
According to the AP, Porritt at one point joked that "Elon Musk apparently thinks it is easier to get billions of dollars in financing than an auto loan or a mortgage," and presented evidence that he'd only had one 45-minute conversation witht he Saudis about what would be a $60 billion ask.
Whatever Musk's real intensions, or if he was simply tweeting for tweeting's sake, broadcasting his moves in the manner of an impetuous teenager, as is sometimes his wont, it doesn't matter now.
The jury was apparently convinced by Musk and by his lawyer Alex Spiro, who characterized Musk as "the kind of person who believes the impossible is possible," per the AP.
Now, with this mess behind him and with his takeover of Twitter being mostly out of the news for weeks, Musk can get back to tweeting about Hunter Biden, or whatever. Oh, and running Tesla.
Top image: Elon Musk is seen at the 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by NDZ/Star Max/GC Images)